On the Season of Lent

Forty days and forty nights.
As I battle my own demons
I wonder,
not for the first time,
how He did it,
how he managed
to crawl out of the desert
with his soul and heart intact.

I’ve lost track of the days.
I don’t where we are
in this dark Lenten season.
I can’t remember
when Easter comes.
Rebirth seems too far away,
or maybe it won’t even happen.
The days are too dark
and the nights too sleepless.

Someone I love is battling demons
I can’t even imagine
while my Dark Night of the Soul
seems endless.

I pray to a God
I could swear
has stopped listening
and when I can’t pray anymore,
I find my lips mouthing
His prayer unconsciously…

Our Father
Who art in Heaven

Deliver me
Deliver us all

4 March 2016, Athens, Georgia

Anglo Saxon church of St James the Less, Lancing, West Sussex, England by me


Treetops on Brownsea Island ~ photography by me
Some days, although we cannot pray, a prayer
utters itself. So, a woman will lift
her head from the sieve of her hands and stare
at the minims1 sung by a tree, a sudden gift.
Some nights, although we are faithless, the truth
enters our hearts, that small familiar pain;
then a man will stand stock-still, hearing his youth
in the distant Latin chanting of a train.
Pray for us now. 2 Grade I piano scales
console the lodger looking out across
a Midlands town. Then dusk, and someone calls
a child’s name as though they named their loss.

Darkness outside. Inside, the radio’s prayer –
Rockall. Malin. Dogger. Finisterre.

~Carol Ann Duffy